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Pennant Number: 19
Notes: The SOUTHAMPTON class were larger than the preceding ARETHUSA class and more in line with light cruisers being built by other navies. The 6" triple mountings were capable of 45° elevation. The armored belt was raised to the upper deck as in the PERTH class light cruisers, but was more extensive along the waterline (although it did not cover the 6" ammunition spaces). There was a hangar behind the bridge which could store two aircraft, and an athwartships catapult was mounted. Tactical diameter was 780 yards at 14 knots. During World War II, all of the class had their AA armaments augmented, and all except SOUTHAMPTON (which had been sunk in 1941) had their "X" turret removed and replaced with additional AA guns.
BIRMINGHAM served at China Station in 1939; then returned to Home Fleet in 1940. She served in the South Atlantic in 1941; and was transferred to the Eastern Fleet 1942-44. BIRMINGHAM sailed to the USA for a refit in 1944, during which time her 6" triple turret in the "X" position was removed, and 4-quadruple 40mm Bofors mounts and 8-2pdr. "pom-poms" were added. She returned to Home Fleet, 1944-45. BIRMINGHAM was modernized 1950-1952 with new bridgework, a lattice foremast, and air conditioning (to suit them for service in the Far East). BIRMINGHAM saw much active service in the postwar Royal Navy, but was eventually considered to be too old for further modernization, and was scrapped at Inverkeithing in July, 1960.